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Full text of "Flora Indica Vol-I"

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INTRODUCTORY  ESSAY.                               227
information of the natives of the country confirms this. We
learn from Turner that showers of rain are frequent about
Jigatzi during the summer months; and as the winds in the
valley of theYaru are said to be generally east and south-east,
the amount of rain-fall must increase as we descend that river,
though, sheltered as it is by the Assam Himalaya and Mishmi
mountains, the fall is no doubt comparatively insignificant.
Of the direction of the mountain-chain to the north of the
Yaru nothing is known. The only Europeans who have vi-
sited it have been Captain Bogle in 1774, who resided at the
monastery of Chammaning, in latitude 30^ north, when on a
mission to the Supreme Pontiff; and, more latterly, Messrs,
Hue and Gabet, who crossed it on their way 'from Kokonor
to Lhassa. From the accounts of the latter travellers the
country seems to be enormously elevated, and continuously so
for a belt of many miles in breadth; and to this may be added
the testimony of the Tibetans themselves, and the fact of so
many of the greatest rivers of Asia rising within the same
Dr, Hooker collected a few plants on the southern border
of Tibet to the north of Sikkim, and these, amounting to only
fifteen or twenty species in two days' journey, are almost
identical with those from equal elevations (16-18,000 feet) in
West Tibet,a stunted Lonicera aud Urtica being the preva-
lent species at 16,000 feet, with creeping Carices in the sand,
and tufted plants of Alsinea, Draba, Androsace, Oxytropis
chiliophytta, 8edums Saxtfraga, and grasses and sedges, most
of which ascend to 18,000 feet. The curious genus Thylaco-
spermum forms hard, hemispherical mounds on the stony soil
at these elevations, and is one of the most conspicuous fea-
tures of the flora, The ground was there everywhere covered
with an efflorescence of carbonate of soda, and the pools of
water were full of Ranunculus aquatitis and Zannicliellia pa-
lustris, also typical of similar situations in "West Tibet,
In .the valley of the Yaru the Dama (Caragana versicolor)
is said to grow, and to be the only firewood; and by the